UnityPoint Health partners with Every Kick Counts to reduce stillbirths

Every Kick Counts is aimed at teaching expectant parents the importance of monitoring their babies’ movements in the third trimester of pregnancy. UnityPoint said in a news release it is proud to be the presenting sponsor of this public health campaign. 

The Every Kick Counts program is a public health campaign from the company Count the Kicks. 

The campaign gives student-athletes of all levels the opportunity to generate awareness and raise money for improving birth outcomes just by playing their sport. Athletes who sign up can collect donations for Count the Kicks by receiving pledges for every score, punt, kick, or success they have in their game. Every time they succeed, they raise money and potentially save lives. Athletes at all levels can access their personal networks and social media profiles to raise awareness for this cause.

The CDC estimates that 23,500 babies in the United States are stillborn each year. This campaign supports UnityPoint Health’s efforts to provide expecting individuals with the right care and education to help improve the health of unborn babies. This includes identifying and addressing health inequities in the communities it serves.

“UnityPoint Health is collaborating with community partners to help ensure all families have access to affordable health care,” says Dr. Diana Kaufman, medical director of Women’s Health Service Line, UnityPoint Health. “It’s important to reach families in a variety of ways. The campaign helps us do that by raising awareness about fetal movement through athletics in communities big and small across the country.”

Research shows that certain populations experience the tragedy of stillbirth at much higher rates than others. For example, Black women are two times more likely to lose their baby to stillbirth compared to their white counterparts. Hispanic and Native American women also are at greater risk.

The partnership with UnityPoint is important because of how many families will be reached, according to Emily Price, executive director of Healthy Birth Day, Inc., the nonprofit organization that created Count the Kicks.

“UnityPoint Health is in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin, and more than 21,000 babies were delivered at their hospitals in 2021,” Ms. Price said. “These real-time resources and tools for expectant families allow them to monitor their babies’ movement (and kicks!) so they feel empowered to contact their health care provider. The goal is working together, making informed decisions for the best birth outcome.”

Athletes who want to sign up, gather pledges, donate or to learn more, should visit EveryKickCounts.com.

In addition to supporting Every Kick Counts, UnityPoint Health initiatives include:

  • Supporting the Visiting Nurse Association Community-based Iowa Black Doula Collective since Black women experience higher rates of infant mortality.
  • Partnering with the Iowa Department of Public Health on the Center of Excellence grant to pilot a program that improves access to high-quality, obstetric services for expectant individuals in rural Iowa.
  • Serving as an active member of statewide Maternal Quality Care Collaboratives in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin, which promotes high-reliability care that improves outcomes across the entire enterprise.

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